Remodeling for Renters: Is It For Real?
By Bill Esler | Posted: 01/27/2014 11:38AM
Some of the strongest growth in new housing has been in the rental market. The same forces that drive new rental home construction - rising mortgage rates and weak job growth - are also spurring rental remodeling owners, and even by some tenants.
Millions are priced out of home buying. The percentage of renter households - 31% in 2004- rose to 35% in 2012, with the strongest numerical growth in renter households in the last 50 years.
As ownership rates fell, housing markets have adjusted dynamically to the increased demand for single-family rentals, with about 3 million existing homes switching from owner to rental occupancy from 2007-2011 alone.
Household formation - people moving out of their parents home when they marry or finish school - has slowed down. Historically 1.1 million households form in a year. In the past year fewer than 400,000 new homes - either rentals or purchased houses - were created. This trend drives multi-generational living, and the remodeling of homes housing multiple families - grandparents, children, and the owners - forms a cabinetry and remodeling opportunity. Harvard studied rental unit trends.
These renters and under-housed families overall, along with the rental property owners, present a cabinetry, closet and home remodeling opportunity.
A news story today describes renters who have spent $30,000 or more renovating apartments - adding closets, Murphy beds, kitchen cabinetry, flooring, even rewiring and plumbing improvements - to tailor their home precisely to their preferences.
New Orleans-based BRC Acoustical, which offers multi-unit commercial and hospitality remodeling services, also provides tenant-driven improvement services.
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On a lesser level, renters are looking for improvements that would be invisible to a landlord - a fold down cabinet drawer front under the kitchen sink; a closet interior redo - changes that would be easily reversible at the conclusion of a lease.
Home interior design site Houzz.com describe approaches to closets Adequate storage space is a major selling point, so it could be in your landlord's interest to heed your call for extra closet space or built-in storage features. Or you may be able to work out a compromise in which you pitch in your labor to install a closet organizing system that will stay with the apartment.
Shorter-term changes: Look for modular closet systems that can be fitted to your space and removed when the time comes to leave.
About the Author
Bill EslerBill Esler, Associate Publisher/ Editor in Chief, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for editing Custom Woodworking Business and coordinating content for Wood Products , CLOSETS , WoodworkingNetwork.com, and related newsletters. Bill’s expertise includes using innovative print manufacturing techniques to grow audience engagement, digital printing, purls, QR codes; and lead-generating webcasts, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Google+.